Lindsay’s quilt

I opened the door to my sewing room for my visiting granddaughter, “Well, this is either the craft room or a junk room,” I said. A pile of fabric slumped onto the floor waiting for a shelf; piles of fabric for quilting projects waited my time, idea books crowded the closet, audio books waited to entertain me with background info while I worked and photo albums still lack all their pictures.

“It’s a junk room,” she whispered in a teasing voice.
“Yeah, with lots of fun things to do,” I agreed. “Do you want to make a quilt?”
She began pulling out fabrics: a bold black and white racing flag, a jig saw of purple, orange and cute pink girly patterns and Irish green shamrocks.

I opened my variegated stash of fat quarters collected for bottle quilts. Her pile of choices grew.
“I might make a black and white quilt,” she mused.
I looked at all the colors she had piled up, “I have enough for a black and white quilt.”

She added a few colorful cartoony fabrics to her basket.
I pulled out quilting magazines to stimulate ideas of how to arrange all the wonderful fabrics she had found.
The blue and white quilts intrigued her as an option for a black and white quilt until she considered the amount of work and skill level involved.

A colorful quilt pattern idea on top of the Halloween fabrics caught her eye.
“That’s sort of a strippy quilt,” I said. “Strippy quilts are just long strips of fabric sewn together. You could take a long strip of each of the fabrics you like and do that.”

The idea intrigued her – if we used multiple fabrics in each strip of color. She rummaged through the fabric and pulled out seven each of pink, orange, blue, black and white, green, red, orange and purple colored fabrics and an eighth collection of multiple colors.

Before we began cutting oblong blocks the width of brick, she arranged the colors in strips to see if she still liked the idea and the color tones. Seeing all 56 fabrics lined up in rows, she pulled out three to replace with others in different shades or tones.

We washed and dried the fabric. I ironed and cut about half the blocks and left the 15 year-old to iron and cut the rest while I went to work.
I came home to a stack of wrinkled fabrics with a corner whacked out of each – and the blocks cut from the center of the neatly ironed smaller piece. I folded, sorted and stored the fabric remembering my mother’s saying, “Live and learn.”

Saturday, afternoon, the teenager lined the blocks on my bed, not vertically as originally planned, but horizontally in color families. I liked it. “But what about the multi-colored blocks? Do you want to pick out a few others to swap out?”

She shook her head and assigned each to guard the end of a row.
The rows of red, blue, orange, green, pink and violet, turned my bed into a big box of crayons.

We took turns pinning, ironing and sewing the rectangles into rows.
Near bedtime, I had pinned and sewn a couple rows together when the designer stepped in, looked at colorful banners and began re-arranging their order.
“We can take apart these two row if you want,” I offered.
“Mmm, no! I like this,” she smoothed out the purple row. I finished pinning together the rows. She sewed half.

A couple days later, we worked on the black border. I cut, she sewed. I ripped out half the seam and showed her how to work with the bulky pile of fabric. She finished sewing the border and ironed it flat.
Another night’s work on the black and white checked back where she wants to put cross-stitched pictures of cats and we will make a quilt sandwich
It’s too bad she only plans to be here for a month, I have a lot of colorful fabric waiting to be used.